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Andrew’s Top 5 Matches: Week Ending 1/10/2021

Now we all know there will be a few Wrestle Kingdom matches on this list, but there also might be a surprise or two. Check out the first Top 5 of 2021!



Now we’ve got the first full official week of 2021, so I figured that was the best time to get the year started right! Let’s leave any 2020 wrestling weirdness in 2020, since America certainly hasn’t.

NXT, Impact and AEW had some bigger events to compete for spots with Wrestle Kingdom 15. I guess we should see how much non-NJPW made the list, right?

Let’s get to the 2021!

Quick Top 5:

  1. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 2: NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs Jeff Cobb
    Rating: *****
  2. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 2: IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs Jay White
    Rating: **** 1/2
  3. Impact Wrestling Genesis: I Quit Match: Willie Mack vs Moose
    Rating: **** 1/2
  4. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 1: Kazuchika Okada vs Will Ospreay w/Bea Priestley
    Rating: **** 1/2
  5. AEW New Year’s Smash: AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs Rey Fenix
    Rating: **** 1/2
  6. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 2: IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi vs Taiji Ishimori (c)
    Rating: **** 1/2


Honorable Mentions:

  • Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 1: IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs Kota Ibushi
    Rating: **** 1/4
  • NXT New Year’s Evil: NXT Championship: Finn Balor (c) vs Kyle O’Reilly
    Rating: **** 1/4
  • Impact Wrestling Genesis: Super X Cup Finals: Ace Austin vs Blake Christian
    Rating: ****
  • NOAH Higher Ground: GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship: Daisuke Harada (c) vs Hajime Ohara
    Rating: ****
  • WWE Raw: WWE Championship: Keith Lee vs Drew McIntyre (c)
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • Impact Wrestling Genesis: Super X Cup: Cousin Jake vs Ace Austin
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 2: EVIL vs SANADA
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • NXT New Year’s Evil: Rhea Ripley vs Raquel Gonzalez
    Rating: *** 3/4
  • Impact Wrestling Genesis: Jordynne Grace vs Jazz
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • Impact Wrestling Genesis: Super X Cup: Blake Christian vs Crazzy Steve
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 1: IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Dangerous Tekkers (ZSJ & Taichi) (c) vs Guerillas of Destiny w/Jado
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • AEW New Year’s Smash: SCU & The Young Bucks vs TH2 & The Acclaimed
    Rating: *** 1/2
  • NJPW New Year Dash: BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Shingo Takagi vs Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, SHO, Master Wato & Rocky Romero
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • Impact Wrestling Genesis: Super X Cup: Crazzy Steve vs Trey Lamar
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 1: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Great O-Khan
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • NJPW New Year Dash: Minoru Suzuki & DOUKI vs Tiger Mask IV & Yuya Uemura
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • IMPACT!: Jordynne Grace & Jazz vs Havok & Nevaeh
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 1: #1 Contender for IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Phantasmo (Super J Cup Winner) vs Hiromu Takahashi (BOSJ winner)
    Rating: *** 1/4
  • Impact Wrestling Genesis: Super X Cup: KC Navarro vs Blake Christian
    Rating: ***
  • NJPW New Year Dash: The United Empire (Will Ospreay w/Bea Priestley, Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Yota Tsuji
    Rating: ***
  • WWE Raw: The New Day vs Miz & Morrison
    Rating: ***
  • Dragon Gate Open the New Gate: Ultimo Dragon & Taketo Kamei vs Kagetora & Don Fujii
    Rating: ***
  • IMPACT!: Sami Callihan vs Eddie Edwards
    Rating: ***
  • Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 1: KOPW 2021 New Japan Ranbo
    Rating: ***
  • WWE SmackDown: Tag Championships: Street Profits (c) vs Bobby Roode & Dolph Ziggler
    Rating: ***

5t. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 2: IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi vs Taiji Ishimori (c)

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Hiromu gets up and fans rally behind him as he shouts at Ishimori. Hiromu drags Ishimori up, runs, and LARIATS! Then a fireman’s carry, to CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Into the bare buckles!! Hiromu fires up more and he drags Ishimori up to a fireman’s carry, TIMEBOMB!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishimori survives but Hiromu won’t stop there! Hiromu drags Ishimori up, dragon sleepers and suplexes, then tucks him in, but Ishimori fights out to snapmare Hiromu into his own dragon sleeper! Ishimori lifts, Hiromu arm-drags free and then rolls to get the fireman’s carry back! Hiromu throws Ishimori into the dragon sleeper but Ishimori fights off the lift!

Hiromu still tries but Ishimori wrenches in mid-air, to the BONE LOCK!!! Hiromu endures as Ishimori cranks on the hold, and fans fire up as Hiromu moves around. Hiromu reaches but Ishimori drags him away again! Ishimori brings Hiromu, BLOODY- NO! Hiromu slips out, suplexes, VICTORIA!! Ishimori flounders around, Hiromu fires himself up again, and fans fire up with him! Hiromu drags Ishimori up into the dragon sleeper, then the suplex, TIMEBOMB MK. II!! Cover, HIROMU WINS!!

Winner: Hiromu via Time Bomb #2


5t. AEW New Year’s Smash: AEW World Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs Rey Fenix

From Mitchell’s Coverage:

Omega drags Fenix up, for a DR. WILY BOMB! High stack, TWO!?! V-TRIGGER!! Cover, TWO!?! Omega is furious, as is Callis, but the fans are loving this! Fenix is on the ropes, Omega takes aim and says BANG! Omega runs, V-TRIGGER! Omega hauls Fenix up, Electric Chair lift, but Fenix POISON RANAS! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous! Callis shouts at Fenix as Fenix goes to the ramp. Fenix glares at Callis but turns his attention back to the ring. Fenix slingshots, into a V-TRIGGER! Omega drags Fenix up and pulls him against ropes but Fenix enziguris free! Fenix step sup to springboard CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Omega survives and Callis is relived.

But Fenix has Omega, scoops, throws knees, FIRE THUNDER DRIVER!! Cover, TWO?!?! Omega survives again and Fenix is beside himself! Fans are electric as Fenix gives Omega some Danielson Stomps! Fenix throws off his elbow pads, goes to the corner and shouts to Latino Heat! FROG SPLASH onto knees!! Too much Latino Heat cost Fenix! Omega puts Fenix up top, climbs up, but Fenix resists and headbutts! Omega CLUBS Fenix, Fenix BOOTS back, then Fenix adjusts to somersault, but into a JAY DRILLER!! V-TRIGGER!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Fenix barely survives but Omega isn’t done! Electric Chair, ONE WINGED ANGEL!!! Cover, Omega wins!!!

Winner: Omega via One Winged Angel


4. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 1: Kazuchika Okada vs Will Ospreay w/Bea Priestley

From My Results:

Ospreay did show a more calculated attack, but so did Okada. Okada focused the back to try and take away the Stormbreaker, while Ospreay attacked different from different angles, but trying to stay ahead in the mind games. There was a beauty in what Ospreay did, since he took a few moments from the Kenny Omega saga, which seemed to spark a different Okada.

Respectably, Ospreay also wanted to beat Okada in the ring, so after a Brainbuster through ringside tables, Ospreay threw Okada back in the ring to try and win without any doubt. Oscutters, Spanish Fly, Money Clips and Tombstones, there was a lot of fun moments. We got to see Okada tap into who he used to be. The goading kicks to a downed Ospreay are a side of Okada that we haven’t seen in a long time.

Ospreay nearly pulled off a big upset when he got out of the Money Clip, hitting a Tombstone and Rainmaker of his own, but that wasn’t enough, but it did evoke something else. Almost as if Okada realized the Money Clip gimmick isn’t worth trying to continue to make work, he fought back, hit the Fire Thunder Driver that we haven’t seen in a while, and then kills Ospreay with a RRRAAIINNMMMAAAKKKERR! God I missed that move.

Winner: Okada via RAINMAKER


3. Impact Wrestling Genesis: I Quit Match: Willie Mack vs Moose

From My Results:

This had all the tones and feelings of the grudge match that it was. Willie and Moose went hard early, kept trying to intimidate one another and get in each other’s heads to get a quick quit. But this was not going to be over quickly and it was paced well, and the moves were meticulous, and the way they went from calling the referee in early to pushing him out of the way; just trying to inflict more damage was great.

Moose hit an Avalanche Go To Hell through a table, but Willie wasn’t going to die. Willie got some momentum a bit later, told Moose he’d have to kill him and that was a bit of foreshadowing. Moose was covering the TNA title belt and just chucked it at Willie’s head to give himself some space. Moose did make a reference to his EC3 match when he flipped off Willie right before a chairshot, but the point was the ending. Moose takes control, wraps the chair around Willie’s neck and goes to kill him, chair into chair style.  Rich Swann runs out and screams “What do you want”, Moose stares at him blankly and Rich says he’ll give him a title shot if that’s what he really wants, just stop the madness. Moose puts the chair down, and says “Thank You, I Quit”.

Winner: Willie Mack


2. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 2: IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs Jay White

From My Results:

The match started off like many other Jay White matches, with a lot of powdering, mind games and chatter. Everything in the match built off the past year and the previous interactions between the two. We got a glimpse of Jay pushing him to Murder Ibushi levels, and Jay did a great job at trying to counter punch the unpredictable Ibushi.

Ibushi challenged White’s manhood during an exhaustive exchange where even Gedo was telling Jay not to swing. A change of gear when Ibushi pushed Red Shoes, giving Jay the opening for a low blow; but Jay then made it his personal goal for the next minute or so to get revenge for Red Shoes. Jay’s running commentary is part of the enjoyment of this match. Even Jay avoiding his usual heel tactics when he tells Red Shoes not to count, as he was calling Ibushi to get back into the ring.

A Kamigoye and Phoenix Splash nearly put the match away for Ibushi, but Gedo pulled out Red Shoes and the match got dicey since this was around the 40 minute mark. Jay catches Ibushi with a Blade Runner, but Ibushi becomes the first person to kick out of the Blade Runner. A Kamigoye to the back of Jay’s head and then an exposed knee Kamigoye finally finished this match!

Winner: Ibushi via Kamigoye


1. Wrestle Kingdom 15 Day 2: NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) vs Jeff Cobb

From My Results:

We started early on with a bit of an attempt to outdo one another. They traded power, they traded agility spots and it was just an impressive mixture of styles. Cobb tapped into a few Eddie Guerrero moments with his version of the 3 Amigos and then the Black Tiger Bomb. Cobb focused on Shingo’s back quite a bit, but Shingo persevered.

Takagi tried to stand up and trade before deciding it was best to focus the knees. Thanks to his pivot, when Cobb managed to pull off Tour of the Islands, Cobb couldn’t go for the cover right away since he landed heavy on the knees. This allowed for Takagi to get close enough to the ropes to break the pin and kick out on the follow up attempt at the pinfall.

Just never stopping with the action, big swings, big power, and this match was a lot of fun. Cobb really stepped up to meet Shingo’s energy and intensity, and it’s a good thing intermission is right after this, because this is probably match of the night. Takagi rocks Cobb with a Pumping Bomber, and then hits Last of the Dragon to retain the title. Just wow.

Winner: Takagi via Last of the Dragon



So we got a few amazing “match of the year” candidates from New Japan, but not only them. Impact brought a story driven slugfest that was an amazing way to get us to Moose getting a REAL title shot. AEW also brought a solid effort with Fenix and Omega going at it again for the AEW championship.

Given the match was what I rated the highest, it still rings the truest with me, so Shingo Takagi vs Jeff Cobb, will be getting my vote. Also it has to be noted that Raw and NXT both had some solid efforts this week, just slightly missing out on the Top 5 because the floor to get in was pretty high.

Now I’m not expecting such an onslaught of high quality every week, this was a hell of a way to start 2021 in the wrestling world.

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Greg DeMarco’s Top 5: The Final Opponent For John Cena In WWE

It’s obvious that John Cena is nearing the end of his legendary career, and he’s suggested ending it at WrestleMania 41. Who should be his final opponent?



John Cena Last Match Randy Orton WWE WrestleMania 41

It’s obvious that John Cena is nearing the end of his legendary career, and he’s suggested ending it at WrestleMania 41. Who should be his final opponent?

John Cena recently appeared on the Pat McAfee Show, the Monday after his surprise (but mostly expected) WrestleMania 40 appearance during Cody Rhodes’ win over Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Championship. During that appearance, he confirmed what many expect, that he is nearly done with his in-ring career. But Cena even tossed out the idea of a time-frame, detailing that his acting schedule will likely take him through Christmas, and maybe Hollywood could “pump the brakes” to allow for one final run.

That run could easily begin at the Royal Rumble with a surprise entrance (or entering himself via TV appearances as part of the build), with a tease for his 17th world title win before finally settling in on his final match.

Fantasy booking and storytelling aside, the goal here is the final match–more specifically the final opponent. With a John Cena, you’ve got a ton of options. As such, it’s hard to narrow it down to 5, and one of your favorites is likely missing–be warned!

Greg DeMarco’s Top 5: The Final Opponent For John Cena In WWE

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Miz – A feud with John Cena gave The Mix a WrestleMania 27 main event–and a WrestleMania  main event victory on top of it. Miz has been receiving more love than ever lately, and a match with John Cena would not be misplaced. Maybe he can use their WrestleMania 33 contest (and Cena’s personal aftermath) as fodder for it, too.
  • AJ Styles – The man who once made it popular to “BEAT UP JOHN CENA” is also nearing the end of his run, and could be the one candidate on this list that could realistically give us a double-retirement match. He would also be the guy who retired both The Undertaker and John Cena (and would probably end up being the guy who lost in both).
  • The Rock or Cody Rhodes – Both great options, but you have to figure their dance card for WrestleMania 41 is already full, potentially standing across the ring from one another. Either is an amazing option (including “Thrice In A Lifetime”), but I just don’t think it’s in the cards.
  • Trick Williams – Potentially a surprising addition to the Honorable Mentions, but the comparisons are there in terms of in-ring style/ability, promo skills, and the interplay they had in NXT (remember, it was Cena who is credited with encouraging Trick to not be afraid to go for it himself despite his relationship with Carmelo Hayes).

5. CM Punk

The fifth spot on this list was nearly interchangeable between several of the honorable mention names, but it really came down to Punk and Seth Rollins for me (with a hint of AJ Styles). The 2011 feud between CM Punk and John Cena was legendary, and is a moment that will forever be seen by me as the one that truly cemented CM Punk as a member of the growing list of all-time greats in WWE.

Punk is uniquely qualified for this match as he would make it mean more than a showboat for John Cena’s career and final match. It’s entirely believable that CM Punk would want to put John Cena’s career into the ground, and WWE has the video archive to support it.

Despite being #5, this could actually be a dark-horse for the match we get, and I can’t see anyone reasonably being upset about that.

4. Roman Reigns

John Cena and Roman Reigns have had two separate legendary programs. the first saw Cena, at times, embarrass Roman in promo exchanges in a feud that took place in the “pre-Tribal Chief” era. The second is more fresh and likely more memorable, as John Cena put Roman Reigns over in a football stadium in Las Vegas at SummerSlam (although it might be more remembered for the return of Brock Lesnar).

Reigns, a legend himself at his point (he’s featured alongside Steve Austin at the top of the “Forever” portion of the Then/Now/Forever/Together video that recently debuted) would provide a pairing akin to The Undertaker serving as Shawn Michaels’ retirement opponent at WrestleMania 26 9notice I didn’t say “final opponent). The end of Roman’s 1316 day world title reign has brought about a new appreciation for Reigns, which would further enhance this pairing at WrestleMania 41.

3. Bron Breakker

Bron Breakker is the picture-perfect definition of a juggernaut in WWE, a fast rising star who almost seems like a lock to main event WrestleMania one day (you never know–Seth Rollins JUST got his first WrestleMania main event last weekend). Breakker recently said farewell NXT as the natural in-ring competitor makes a transition to full-time main roster competition.

Breakker also fits the category of who “needs it.” Bring the man to retire John Cena would be quite the feather in the cap of Breakker’s early career, and would give him a moment that would be relived for generations to come. The only question mark is WWE “trusting” Breakker with this moment, as a sudden change of character could mean that Cena’s final match wouldn’t be seen or discussed as much. Breakker, to me, has given no reason for anyone to suspect that might happen, regardless of any controversies his father and uncle have been linked to.

2. R-Truth

Despite being 5-years older than John Cena, and making his in-ring debut in the same year (1999), R-Truth’s childhood hero hanging up the boots will undoubtedly be a hard-hitting moment for the  man who has basically become the WWE Mascot. Truth emulating Cena in his matches, and of course the RawAfterMania moment with Cena, Truth, and The Miz hitting a Fifteen Knuckle Shuffle (thank you, Michael Cole) on The Judgment Day makes this a near can’t miss final match for both John Cena and the WWE Universe.

R-Truth himself is equally deserving of this match, as it would be a reward for all of his years in the ring as part of a career that seems age defying while proving that age is not only a number, but also a number that can be ignored (see Child Hero, John Cena).

While a rematch of their 2011 WWE Capital Punishment main event is an unlikely WrestleMania 41 match-up, it’s one I believe everyone would love to see.

1. Randy Orton

I mean, is there anyone more perfect? John Cena and Randy were inseparably linked for a good portion of their careers, and have shared the ring more times than Big Show has turned babyface/heel. Both are far into legendary status at this point, and Orton specifically is obviously focused on enjoying this stage of his career.

But Orton is still delivering great performances inside the ring, too.

Randy Orton vs John Cena was an exciting proposition many years ago, became a punchline for WWE booking a few years ago, but is now coming full circle as the perfect match-up to end the amazing career of John Cena. It has my vote, and should have yours, too.

Even if R-Truth would be the most fun option.

What say you? Who is the best candidate to stand across the ring from John Cena in his final WWE match, potentially at WrestleMania 41? Who did I leave out?

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Greg DeMarco’s WrestleMania 40 Saturday Results & Review

It’s the Granddaddy Of ‘Em All, WrestleMania! Night 1 of WrestleMania XL and Greg DeMarco has your results and review!



Sami Zayn WrestleMania 40

It’s the Granddaddy Of ‘Em All, WrestleMania! Night 1 of WrestleMania XL and Greg DeMarco has your results and review!

It all comes down to this–at least for the first night! A loaded card in front of a packed house, and I’d expect everyone to deliver one hell of a performance.

Women’s World Championship – Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley (champion)

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Rhea Ripley retains

In my opinion, this match should be the main event of Night 1, but The Rock is back and that was going to take precedence (even if I disagree). Becky won this title shot at the Elimination Chamber, even though they were already building the feud before that event in Perth. Ripley herself main evented that event in a stadium, defeating Nia Jax.

  • It was revealed during her entrance that this is Becky Lynch’s “Flu Game,” as she has temperatures as high as 102 degrees throughout the week.
  • Rhea Ripley enters to a life performance of her entrance theme, which you can tell she dug.
  • Prime logo is center ring, just the black outline with “Prime” in the middle, and it is not at all bothersome. I can’t believe people made such a big deal out of bitching about that.
  • The stage looks dope, not at all “too small” as some had said. The whole environment looks great, honestly.
  • Rhea Ripley has been dealing with a wrist injury. She said on the Pat McAfee Show she didn’t expect to work with the wrist brace on tonight, but there it is.
  • Corey Graves points out that Becky’s training was likely impacted by her illness, and Pat McAfee scoffs at him for stating the obvious. I hope that isn’t what we get all night.
  • Commentary notes that is is 52 degrees and windy in the stadium, and I am reminded of Nick Khan’s comments about moving an outdoor WrestleMania to late April in the future, if they don’t get an indoor building (he did say “2026” when talking about that, which likely means the 2025 venue is indeed set).
  • Rhea’s Prism Trap is a fell of a submission finisher. Add in the body lock the way she did, and it’s even more impressive.
  • I just noticed the “Prime” turnbuckle pads and it’s…weird. I just didn’t expect it and can’t think of the last time we didn’t have the WWE/WWF logo on the buckles outside of Black and Gold NXT. WrestleMania 2?
  • I am also noticing that Dude Wipes seems to have sponsored the ring posts. Kudos to WWE (and the wrestling industry behind them) for being so damn desirable to sponsors!
  • That combo to get into the Riptide was fantastic–and the kickout was even better.
  • During the DisarmHer you can clearly see the commentary position, and Michael Cole is legit reclined all the way back. Love it–Cole is living his best life.
  • Rhea’s Riptide into the buckle before the proper Riptide was pretty sweet as well. Made Becky look insanely strong in defeat.

Winner via pinfall AND STILL your Women’s World Champion: Rhea Ripley

Hell of an opener, and if you didn’t know Becky was sick, you wouldn’t have known. Props to them both. That would have satisfied as a main event, but can now go down as one of the best openers in WrestleMania history.

Ladder Match for the Raw Tag Team Championships and Smackdown Tag Team Championships – DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs. Awesome Truth (The Miz & R-Truth) vs. New Catch Republic (Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate) vs. A Town Down Under (Austin Theory & Grayson Waller) vs. The New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Judgment Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest, Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions)

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Awesome Truth (Raw titles) and A-Town Down Under (SmackDown)

As many expected, the belts are hanging separately, meaning we are most likely splitting the tag titles here. Triple H and company have put some serious work into building up the tag team divisions of both brands, and even though I expect the two winners to not be actual “teams,” but either way I actually like the way they didn’t make a big deal out of splitting the titles up, they’re just doing it. They have been defended separately since being unified, albeit rarely.

  • R-Truth makes a joke about DIY being DX and that’s now taken off. I love it.
  • The Miz is very under appreciated. Can literally do anything.
  • Someone is struggling with the “Titan Tron” videos tonight.
  • Not gonna lie, I am the biggest Pat McAfee fan, but he’s actually quite annoying right now.
  • Sign of the night: SANTA DESERVED IT.
  • Lots of green in this match, half of the teams wearing their “WrestleMania Green” gear.
  • Also, loving the Consequences Creed gear for Woods.
  • God Bless Finn Balor for taking that Airplane Spin into the ladder.
  • 205 combined years of experience in this match. That’s an average of 17 years (Waller has the least with 7, Balor and Miz are tied for the most with 23).
  • “Dunne Mountain?!?!” Thank you Michael Cole for fixing that.
  • Poor Finn Balor, not he takes the AA to the ladder after John Cena’s Five Moves Of Doom
  • Hilarious.
  • A-Town Down Under gets the SmackDown tag titles!
  • And Grayson gets tossed through a ladder, still holding a title!
  • The match does continue until the Raw tag titles are also retrieved.
  • If Theory also got the Raw tag titles down, I will laugh my ass off.
  • Birminghammer is a fantastic name for a tandem (somewhat) Burning Hammer.
  • Tornado DDT through a table!
  • Air Raid Crash from the ladder!
  • And we still have more tables set-up.
  • JD McDonagh trying to get Finn–who has taken a beating–to get the Raw tag titles.
  • McDonagh through the tables!
  • PERFECTLY placed Razor’s Edge onto that chair.
  • Dude, that ladder is trashed. (And very unsafe.)
  • AA sends Damian outside!
  • I think everyone wants R-Truth to get this. EVERYONE.
  • YES!

Winners via belt retrieval, AND NEW:

  • SmackDown Tag Team Champions – Grayson Waller & Austin Theory
  • Raw Tag Team Champions – R-Truth & The Miz

Really good Ladder Match, but it’s hard to have a bad one. The tag team titles are split and it was really well done. It made perfect sense to do it that way, not make a big deal out of it and just let it happen. I am excited to see both teams win–not because I picked both, but because I think one team (Waller/Theory) have amazing futures and the other (Miz/Truth) will be a lot of fun, even if their run will probably be short lived.

Santos Escobar (with Legado Del Fantasma members Angel, Humberto, & Elektra Lopez) & Dominik Mysterio vs. Rey Mysterio & Andrade (with The LWO members Carlito, Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro, & Zelina Vega

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Dominik and Santos win, giving Dominik “revenge” for his loss at WrestleMania 39.

Look, this match doesn’t make a lick of sense–Dominik shows up two weeks ago and finds his way into another WrestleMania match with Rey? Definitely shoehorned. But Dominik is outstanding, so if this gets him on the card, I’ll take it.

  • More green in this match, and I am here for it.
  • Innovative Double Cross Body by Rey & Andrade.
  • Dominik showing experience beyond his years, making sure the ref sees his tag with Santos.
  • At this moment, I am wondering who turns–Carlito or Andrade. Gotta assume it’s one of them.
  • Three matches in and I don’t even notice the Primo logo in the center of the ring or on the turnbuckle pads.
  • Santos Escobar trying to unmask Rey Mysterio, as if we don’t all have Google.
  • Corey Graves making a great point about Rey taking some responsibility for the issues in his life, and Michael Cole immediately dismissing it.
  • It’s so hard to do a really good Dragon Screw Leg Whip, and Andrade (along with Dominik and Santos) just pulled off two to perfection.
  • Camera shot of Rey’s cross body shows the heaters above the ring. Good–keep ’em warm!
  • This could have easily been an 8-man tag team match. Maybe we get that Monday on Raw (which can also be where the turn happens, making my prediction here likely wrong).
  • Joaquin Wilde gets to do his NXT spot at WrestleMania, and that’s probably more important than officially being in the match.
  • Two masked men–definitely the Kelce Brothers–are here.
  • My bad, it was Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson. Good call, honestly. Great pop for them, too.
  • Looking at the reply, Dominik sold that ringpost spot like a champ.

Winners via pinfall (Rey on Santos): Rey Mysterio & Andrade

Fun tag team match that served its purpose. Needed? Maybe not, as I really wanted to get Liv Morgan vs. Nia Jax onto this card. But when you can get Rey & Dominik on the card, everyone will be happy. and of course the Jason Kelce & Lane Johnson appearances.

Brother vs Brother: Jey Uso vs. Jimmy Uso

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Jimmy Uso follows in the footsteps of Owen Hart and Matt Hardy and beats the “more talented brother.”

They’ve wanted this match all their lives–and the preview video was insane. Very well done.

  • Jey in the WrestleMania whites tonight.
  • And we get a hot start to the match!
  • “Big Brother Jimmy” is always a fun thing to hear.
  • More Dude Wipes sponsorship on this one–you have to wonder if having Dude Wipes on the posts for the opener was in error.
  • Superkicks. Lots of Superkicks.
  • Very enjoyable YEET/NO chants from the crowd.
  • Jey just kicking the hell out of Jimmy, including a Jumping Super Kick.
  • This has “Fight Without Honor” feels from old school ROH, where the winners have respect after. We will definitely see these guys together again.
  • Jimmy apologizing to Jey. Crowd is not buying it.
  • Of course it was BS, and Jimmy gains the advantage.

Winner, via pinfall: Jey Uso

Jey breaks the babyface curse by beating his heel brother. Thought we might get an embrace between them, instead we faded out. A good match that was more about the story than the in-ring action. I can see some feeling like this hasn’t “lived up to expectations” because of the high expectations you’d have for an Usos match. Their best work will always be as a team, but I know this is a lifelong dream come true for both.

As for all the Superkicks, I mean….it’s an Usos match.

Six-Woman Tag Team Match – Damage CTRL (Dakota Kai, Asuka, & Kairi Sane) vs. Naomi, Bianca Belair, & Jade Cargill

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Bianca, Naomi, & Jade win when Jade scores the pin (probably on Kairi, who always seems to eat the fall)

This match is all about getting Bianca Belair on the card (she had to be), and Jade Cargill’s debut. It also got Damage CTRL on the card, which they truly deserve–even if it is to lose.

  • Respectfully, Dakota Kai. (Good thing the ring and surrounding area is heated)
  • Not gonna lie, Jade looks nervous. But this is a six-woman tag, and her portion is likely highly choreographed. Gonna be all good.
  • As I watch and enjoy the match (but am not typing much lol), this seems like a match where we’re all just waiting for Jade to come in and win.
  • No one has told Jade about the tag ropes yet, apparently.
  • And now Jade is in, and Damage CTRL makes her look like a million bucks.
  • Dakota Kai nicely gets herself into position for the finish, and Jade gets her WrestleMania win.

Winners via pinfall (Jade on Dakota): Jade Cargill, Naomi, & Bianca Belair

We knew what this one was about going into it, and that’s what it should have been. Jade still ain’t ready. I know it might be an “ego hit” for her to go to NXT, but she needs it. If Giulia can go to NXT, so can Jade.

Intercontinental Championship – Sami Zayn vs. GUNTHER (champion)

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Sami Zayn pulls off the major upset and is the one to dethrone Gunther

Gunther has had a stranglehold on the Intercontinental Championship, defending it like crazy in 2023 but slowing that down here in 2024. It’s not fair to say he’s outgrown the title, but that might actually be the case. It’ll be really interesting to see what happens with Imperium leading up to the draft, and at the WWE Draft itself.

  • Sami Zayn was the perfect wrestler to have their journey form backstage to the ring followed by the cameras. From his family to Chad Gable to Kevin Owens, it was all so perfect–maybe too perfect? (Not in that someone will screw him, but in that it might be too heavily foreshadowing his win?)
  • Gunther looked oddly nervous standing on that stage.
  • You know, the Intercontinental Championship is basically a third world title at this point. And we could see the end of a legendary reign. I think this deserved the Samantha Irvin In-Ring Introductions (aka “Japan Style”) treatment.
  • Gunther is smiling confidently now, we’re good.
  • Crowd is ON FIRE for these guys (and evenly split with their chants for each guy).
  • This is the 21st time the Intercontinental championship is defended at WrestleMania, and it makes you wonder what in the hell they were thinking for the other 11.
  • Looks like Dude Wipes is back on the ringpost!
  • Hell of a nearfall, followed up by a Helluva Kick from Gunthcr, and one from Sami!
  • That finish….AMAZING.

Winner via pinfall, AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Sami Zayn

The athletes… the moments… the storytelling… professional wrestling is such a beautiful business. Sami Zayn’s win over Gunther was everything I had hoped it would be when I picked Sami to win. Absolutely beautiful.

Cody Rhodes & World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins vs. The Rock & Undisputed WWE Champion Roman Reigns

Greg’s pre-show prediction: Seth & Cody get the win after tons of interference and surprise appearances, making Roman vs Cody on Sunday a match where The Bloodline is banned from ringside.

So much involved in this one. As you know, If Rock & Roman win, Sunday’s WWE Championship match will be held under Bloodline Roles. If Seth & Cody win, then that mach will see ZERO Bloodline involvement. Personally, if Cody is winning the title, I’d rather it be straight up. But I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I am wrong.

  • Honestly, after the introductions, I realized I was just watching!
  • This was very much Steve Austin vs The Rock inspired, with them fighting all over the stadium, and pushing the envelope.
  • I loved The Rock basically neutering the referee–normally I hate that, but here it works.
  • That finish and the condition of Rollins both lay perfectly into night 2, I would imagine.

Winners via Rock pinfall on Rhodes: The Rock & Roman Reigns

Per rule, Sunday’s main event will now be Bloodline Rules. And given that, my prediction of Roman retaining might be harder to pull off. This was a good return for The Rock, and perfectly played into the whole story. Job well done.

Greg DeMarco’s Overall Thoughts for WWE WrestleMania XL, Saturday (Night 1)

in a vacuum, this was  highly enjoyable show. Night 2 might end up being legendary if both Bayley and Rhodes win, and it could overshadow Night 1. But the scene was fantastic, production was top notch as always, and the fans went home having enjoyed one for the ages. The Triple H Era s well underway, and will likely kick into a higher gear with Night 2.

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